Future of UCLA Libraries

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-As with libraries across the UC system, the UCLA Library has cut hours throughout its units. With the exception of the Management and Law Libraries, UCLA Libraries are now closed on Saturdays.

-Early in Fall Quarter 2009, the Night Powell Services, which enables members of the UCLA community to utilize certain study areas and a computing lab within Powell Library between 11:00 pm and 7:30 am five days a week, was discontinued.

-However, the UCLA Undergraduate Student Association, working with the University Librarian and an anonymous donor, supplied funding to reopen this service for the remaining of the academic year, and, it appears, for the upcoming academic year.

-As of March 2010, there are 28 librarian and 50-60 staff positions which are vacant. Because of the budget cuts, the Library has engaged in only limited, targeted recruitment this year, but hopes to begin filling more positions in the near future.

-Spring 2010 will see the departure of the current AUL for public services, and the entry of a new AUL for digital initiatives and Library IT services. Portfolios and assignments for all AULs are being readjusted to streamline reporting lines and raise organizational efficiency.

-In Fall 2009, teams consisting of AULs and librarians were formed to study the impact of closing the physical units of the UCLA Arts, Chemistry, and Geology libraries, and integrating their collections and services into other appropriate units. Reports have been presented to the UL and the Cabinet, but at this time, no decision has been finalized.

-The Young Research Library is currently undergoing major renovations on its first and second floors. Renovation of the basement is near completion, and in operation. The library remains open to the public and all services are fully functional. More information on the YRL renovation, as well as other topics relevant to the UCLA Library can be found on the University Librarian’s blog: http://blogs.library.ucla.edu/universitylibrarian/

-LAUC-LA activities this year have concentrated on enabling more open communication among librarians of the various units, and between librarians and library administration.

-One activity the LAUC-LA Chair and Chair-elect has initiated is a ‘listening tour’ in which we visit librarians in their units for two hour discussions. The purpose of these visits is to clarify the role of LAUC, encourage more interest in LAUC participation, to hear from the librarians themselves about their work and their units, and to hear their ideas on how and on what LAUC should be advising the administration.

-So far, we have visited nine library units and spoken with approximately 30 librarians. All comments are strictly anonymous, and we have been able to incorporate many of the comments and suggestions into our monthly meetings with the UL.

-An ad hoc task force was appointed by the University Librarian in consultation with LAUC-LA leaders to review and report on the definitions and criteria used by each UC library in awarding distinguished status, discuss UCLA’s current language, and recommend to the UL revisions to the UCLA Librarian’s CALL as appropriate.

-The formation of this task force in October 2009 is the result of the need to clarify and establish criteria that would satisfy both librarians and administration. The group hopes to complete its task by Spring 2010.

-A task force was appointed by the LAUC-LA leadership in February 2010 to create a viable LAUC-LA Procedures Manual. The desired outcome is a web-based resource containing the collective policies, procedures, and timelines for LAUC-LA regular activities that is available to the membership in order to ease the learning curve and transition of new committee chairs and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge onward toward re-building the institutional memory.

-Recommendations for archival policies and future maintenance responsibilities will also be generated. The manual will be mounted on the LAUC-LA Webpage and operable for AY 2011-2012.

-This year the LAUC-LA Committee on Plans and Policies was charged with investigating the issue of security in the UCLA Library on two levels: on a material level, as it relates to the security of the books and other items housed in the open stacks; and on a personal level, as it relates to the personal safety and well-being of library staff.

-They held brown bag which was well attended by both librarians and library staff to gather concerns and ideas, and are working with the Deputy University Librarian to develop recommendations for policies to improve stacks security, building security, and training of librarians in dealing with difficult, angry, or threatening patrons.